“Timing is Everything,” the latest work by the Los-Angeles-based street artist called ABOVE, uses a shadow cast on the façade of a building to engage with a life-sized stencil of a break dancer. The piece took months to realize because the artist wanted to find the perfect location for the intervention—a near eye-level area on a highly-trafficked street near the Tube station in Shoreditch, London—so that people could experience the works first-hand, rather than online or in print. Like many street artworks, the artist did not seek permission to install the piece. ABOVE states, “Each piece has it’s own ‘lifespan.’ Some get cleaned the next day and don’t survive. Other [sic] can stay for years, even decades. Timing is everything, and time will definitely tell if this piece stays or is cleaned off.”
Cities increasingly cater to transient young populations across the globe. As cosmopolitan hubs are being designed for these technologically-driven, innovative, young people, the elderly and extended families are excluded from this urban transformation. Metropolis Magazine’s article, “Old City: The New Paradigm,” advocates for mixed-use, “elderly-centric” planning strategies such as promoting multi-generational households alongside single-unit housing developments to create communities for all ages. The goal is to provide an environment that attracts young innovators as well as the elderly who bring experience and insight.
Colorful spinning mobiles created by an anonymous artist have popped up across San Francisco sparking curiosity about a new phenomenon in public art interventions. The playful installations—which consist of juxtaposed objects such as multi colored Legos, Barbie dolls, rods, and reflective disks—hang from freestanding light poles, telephone poles, or other infrastructure in alley ways, public parks, and other areas. While the same creator presumably makes the mobiles, the real purpose behind the interventions are yet to be made public.
Students at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy and in the Communication Design Department of Parsons, both part of the New School, recently collaborated with El Centro del Inmigrante—an organization focused on promoting the economic advancement and security of immigrant workers—to envision a new hiring hall for migrant workers in Staten Island. The students combined their expertise in policy and design to promote El Centro’s project in an awareness campaign called “Yo Trabajo” (“I Work”). The students also redesigned El Centro’s branding and identity to visually convey the purpose of the organization and the importance of valuing the work of immigrant populations.
Check out New York-based artist Nobutaka Aozaki’s ongoing project, Here to There, which is generating a map of Manhattan made solely by hand-written directions created by pedestrians. Aozaki approaches New Yorkers dressed as a tourist wearing a baseball cap with a Century 21 shopping bag in hand. When the stranger goes to pull out his or her smart phone, the artist insists that the directions be drawn on any accessible surface—such as napkins, paper plates, or pages torn from a notebook. His goal? “…not to make a complete map, but to instead document his daily routines and interactions with people, sort of like a mapped diary.”
On August 24 and 25, artist and poet Jon Cotner leads Spontaneous Society, a series of interactive walks through Chicago as part of the exhibition Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good, currently on view at the Chicago Cultural Center. Through these 90-minute walks, he aims to unite participants with other people encountered along the way and strengthen social connections. Email Jon Cotner for more information or to reserve a space, and check out photos from his Spontaneous Society walk in New York on Lab | Log.